St. Cyril’s Church
Kyiv, 12 Oleny Telihy Str.
+38044 417 2268
+38044 468 1126
During church services - free entrance
Museum - 20 UAH
Church operates daily:
10:00 a.m. - 17:00 p.m.
St. Cyril’s Church is an outstanding monument of architecture and monumental painting of Kyivan Rus period. The church was erected in the middle of the 12th c. in the Dorohozhychi area by order of Chernihiv Prince Vsevolod Olhovych.
The church was consecrated in honour of Prince Vsevolod’s protector, Saint Cyril of Alexandria. In 1194 Price Sviatoslav, Vsevolod’s eldest son, one of the main characters of the medieval poem “The Tale of Igor’s Campaign” was buried there.
Over a period of centuries-old history, St. Cyril’s Church has survived fires, devastations and partial destructions. The present-day view of the monument was formed as a result of reconstructions carried out in the 18th c., with the participation of the famous architect I. Hryhorovych-Barskyi. Since that time, the building has acquired the features of Ukrainian Baroque.
Among the artistic treasures of St. Cyril’s Church, one should mention the wall painting: the frescoes (12th c.), tempera (17th c.), and oil painting (19th c.). Tempera of the 17th c. is represented by the portrait of Inokentiy Monastyrskyi, one of the Father Superiors of St. Cyril’s Monastery.
The complex of fresco painting of St. Cyril’s Church represents one of the most complete ensembles of the 12th c. monumental painting of Kyivan Rus. About 800 sq. meters of fresco paintings from the 12th c., which have unique iconography, have been preserved in the interior. The most interesting compositions are scenes of Apocalypse, among which special attention is paid to the terrors of hell, and the frescoes on the topic of the Day of Judgment.
In the 80s of the 19th c., major restoration works on the restoration of the monumental painting were conducted under the guidance of Prof. A. Prakhov. The works were performed by teachers and pupils of Kyiv Drawing School of M. Murashko and students of the Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg. In general, different sources mention circa 40 names. Among them are the outstanding Russian artists M. Vrubel and Ukrainian artists I. Izhakevych, Kh. Platonov, I. Selezniov and others.
Vrubel’s works are “The Lamentation over the Grave”, “The Annunciation” and “The Entrance into Jerusalem”. One can ascend a steep staircase to the gallery to get a view of Vrubel’s composition “The Descent of the Holy Spirit”. He also created four icons for the icon case of the church: “The Blessed Virgin and Child”, “Jesus Christ”, “St. Cyril” and “St. Athanasius”.
In 1929, St. Cyril’s Church became a museum. In 1965, it became a part of the National Conservation Area “St. Sophia of Kyiv”.
Major restoration was carried out in St. Cyril’s Church in the second half of the 20th c. The best representatives of Kyiv School for the Restoration of Monumental Painting took part in the restoration works.
Currently, research works are still being carried out in St. Cyril’s Church.